Ethiopian Airlines orders further 10 A350-900 aircraft; purchases two B777 freighters

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Jun 21, 2017: Addis Ababa-based Ethiopian Airlines has placed an order for 10 additional Airbus A350-900 aircraft, for long-haul route network expansion.  Last June, the airline became the first African carrier to operate the A350 when it took delivery of the first of 12 aircraft in order. Today the carrier operates a fleet of four A350s, two of which are on lease. Ethiopian Airlines' A350-900s are configured in a two class layout seating 30 passengers in Business Class and 313 in Economy Class. The spacious, quiet interior and mood lighting in the cabin contribute to superior levels of passenger comfort and well-being.

"Operating the youngest fleet in the industry with modern and comfortable customer features in the cabin is one of the four pillars in our 15 years strategic road map, vision 2025, and this order placement for additional A350s is one component of this strategy. The performance, operational and cost efficiencies we have achieved with our initial A350-900s have resulted in these additional ten aircraft order placement and thereby suffice our ever-expanding global network. We will deploy the additional aircraft on our long haul routes connecting Addis Ababa with destinations in Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia," explained Tewolde GebreMariam, Group CEO of Ethiopian Airlines.

In addition to this, Ethiopia’s flag carrier also announced a commitment to purchase two 777 Freighters from Boeing at the 2017 Paris Air Show, valued at $651.4 million at list prices.

The airline also announced an order for 10 additional 737 MAX 8 airplanes, exercising options from their 2014 order, which was the largest for the 737 MAX in Africa. Ethiopian now has firm orders for 30 737 MAX 8s.

"Building one of the largest cargo terminals in the world and operating new-generation, high-performance aircraft reflects our commitment in expanding and supporting the exponentially growing imports and exports of our country in particular and the African continent in general. The commitment to purchase two 777 Freighters is expected to boost the Ethiopian Cargo & Logistics Services," said GebreMariam. "The 737 MAX will form a key component of our strategic roadmap, vision 2025, enhancing our single-aisle fleet and keeping us at the forefront of African aviation. This is a continuation of the longstanding and commendable business partnership we had established with Boeing."

The 777 Freighter, the world's longest-range twin-engine freighter, is based on the technologically advanced 777-200LR (Longer Range) passenger airplane and can fly 4,900 nautical miles (9,070 kilometers) with a full payload of 112 tons (102 metric tonnes or 102,000 kg).

"The 777 Freighter's range capability, combined with its enhanced cargo capacity, makes it the perfect airplane for Ethiopian to continue to profitably grow its global freighter service, linking trade routes between Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia," said Ihssane Mounir, senior vice president, Global Sales & Marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "Ethiopian's 737 MAX order is a continued endorsement of the airplane's efficiency, range, reliability and operating costs."

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